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Taitreya Upanishad, Class 48

Ch 3, Anuvakaha 10, Shloka # 1:

Do not turn away anybody who seeks shelter and lodging. This is the vow. Let one, therefore, acquire much food by any means whatsoever. They should say: “Food is ready”. If the food is prepared in the best manner, the food is given to him (the guest) also in the best manner. If the food is prepared in a medium manner, food is also given to him in a medium manner. If food is prepared in the lowest manner, the same food is also given to him in a lower manner. He who knows thus, will obtain all the rewards as mentioned above.

Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, we are in the tenth and final anuvaka of Brghuvalli. Here

Upanishad prescribes some more disciplines and upasanas. Two Vrtham’s were introduced in the last class. They were: 1) Athiti Puja and 2) Anna danam.

Anna danam has been glorified in our tradition. Scriptures say: no danam is equal to anna danam and Jala danam; No vrtham is greater than Ekadasi vrtham; No mantra is greater than gayathri mantra; and no Devi is greater than mother.

May you procure enough annam. It is not enough to have food but we should also have the heart to share it with others. Generosity is a faculty that requires a lot of punyam. They say that among 100 people you will only find one with courage; one with wisdom is found only one in a thousand; a scholar who can communicate what he knows is rarer still and found only one in a hundred thousand; but the rarest of all is one who wants to give, such a person is rarely found.

Internal bankruptcy is weakness in a human being. The ability to give is a big internal strength. May you experience a willingness to share. We saw until this in last class.

Even in anna danam there is a gradation. Quality of danam varies as per his attitude at time of giving. Following three grades are seen:

  • Superior one where both in verbal and body language indicate that one is giving from his heart.
  • Inferior one known as adhama danam.
  • Intermediate one is where one has a neutral attitude towards giving. This is also known as Madhyam danam.

According to one’s danam; and according to one’s attitude at time of giving; one gets dana phalam.

In what form will I get the result of danam? Phalam is received as annam from others. As I give, so I receive. You will be treated exactly as you treat others. The world is like a mirror; smile begets smile while frown begets frown.

If annam is prepared and served in best manner the anna data will also get his phalam in same manner. One who does so in a medium manner gets a result that is an also medium in effect.

One who has understood this basic principle that the world is like a bank where whatever good you do is a deposit in this bank that you can withdraw later on; be it sukham or dukham. Benefit of this knowledge is that he performs the best anna danam and accordingly receives the best from the world.

Ch 3, Anuvakaha 10, Shloka # 2:

The supreme resides in speech as well as “well-being”; in prana and apana as acquirer and preserver; in the hands as action, in the legs as movement, in the anus as the activity of excretion. Thus, is the meditation of Brahman in respect of man.

Now, the Upanishad wants to prescribe two groups of meditations.

  • Adhyatmika Brahma Upsanani: here one meditates on his own inner world.
  • Adhidaivika Brahma Upasanani: here one meditates upon an unmanifest ideal.

Adhyatmika Brahma Upsananani:

Here each one is a meditation on Brahman or Brahma upsana. Different organs of body are used as a locus of invocation. Normally we take an external symbol such as lingam or shaligramam as a pratikam (alambanam). God is invoked on the symbol.  On the symbol, upsana body organs are invoked. They are internal and subjective hence called adhyatmika. Brahman is meditated upon as various faculties or powers in respective organs.

I take an organ, see its power and take that power as manifestation of god. It is similar to vibhuti yoga of gita. It is not my glory but as God’s glory manifest in that organ. Adhyatmika is replaced by the word Manushi in shloka. Also Upasanani is replaced by the word Samaagya.

What are the organs meditated upon?

  1. Vachi:

First organ meditated upon is vachi. In organ of speech may you meditate on wellbeing or Kshema. We have to add the words Brahma Upasati meaning meditates upon.

In speech one sees God as wellbeing. Vak indriya has only the faculty of speech. Why does the Upanishad say it has wellbeing? If speech is auspicious, then it will bring all round wellbeing. Inappropriate speech will bring discord. In the tip of tongue Lakshmi Devi will come. Where inferior words are used amangalam will come. Friends and relatives are retained by good speech. Nobody can withstand a rude mouthed person. Even bondage is at tip of tongue. A speech on a negative topic also has its own results. If you blaspheme, many countries prescribe capital punishment.

The best ornament of a person is his speech; here absence of other ornaments will not be noticed. With bad speech, one’s all other good qualities are also negated.

 Pray to Saraswati Devi that I speak only good words. Good words don’t cost anything.

  • Yoga Kshema:

This resides in the exhalation and inhalation breath. Both Prana represents accumulation of money wealth health etc and is also known as Yoga.

Apana represents Kshema meaning preservation of accumulation.

Thus, both, Yoga and Kshema reside in breathing. Only so long as you breathe there is possibility of yoga and kshema. In this context a story by Tolstoy was cited. A man offered his huge land to anyone who would run from sunrise to sunset. Whatever distance he covered would be given to him as his land. One person ran and ran until he was about to fall. He wanted to run a little more but then he fell down and died. Who will enjoy the land now? So, a Bhokta has to survive to enjoy. All yoga kshema is relevant only when breath is there. So, meditate on this breath.

  • Karmeti Hastha yoho:

Meditate on power of activity residing in hand. Karma affects everything including moksha. Karma does not directly affect moksha but it does so indirectly as it contributes to chitta shudhi. With Chitta shudhi one gets Gyanam and then Moksha. Karma also gets all four purusharthas as well. At end of Rudram mantra, man thanks his own hands. We recognize our hand only when becomes powerless due to a disease. Rudram says, look at both hands. Left hand is good, as it performs noble karma such as shiva puja. Right hand is even more divine as it is used for abhishekha. May you meditate on God in your hand.

  • Padayoho:

Don’t forget importance of legs. You have to walk to temple. Legs are the power of locomotion that transports hands.

  • Vimuktiriti payayoho: Meditate on organs of excretion. Vimukti means emptying, cleansing, liberation from impurities.

From this we learn every organ of body is sacred.

Don’t look down upon any organ. Even though the organ of excretion appears impure, it is keeping the body healthy and fit. When one gets diarrhea or constipation one understands the importance of this organ.

In Shikshavalli it said that I have to look upon myself as sacred only then, can I claim, I am Brahmasmi. Don’t have an inferiority complex. If I don’t respect myself how will I get respect from others. When somebody says, you are wonderful, you wonder! Learn to respect yourself.

In Vedanta body is presented as anatma. We are asked to give up deha abhimana. This can lead to Deha dvesha. Don’t have attachment or hatred but look at body as an instrument of liberation.

With this the first group of Upasanas are over.

A small point made by shankaracharya is worth noting. Whenever Vedas talk of karma or upsana they also talk of phalam. Usually at the end there is a phala shruti. Here, however, the Upanishad has not mentioned any phalam. Shankaracharya says we have to supply them. Two fold phalams are mentioned.

  • Sakama upsana phalam
  • Nishkama upsana phalam.

Nishkama upsana gives spiritual growth. Sakama Upasana benefits will depend upon the type of meditation performed.

The saying goes, as one thinks, so one becomes. If one performs Kshema Brahma Upasana, one gets Kshema. For Karma Upsana, karma itself is the phalam. Vimukti upsana, however, does not men one will be going to a toilet constantly.

Ch 3, Anuvaka 10, shloka # 3:

Now follows the meditation upon the adhidaivika; as satisfaction in the rains, as power of lightning; as fame in the cattle, as light in the stars, as off-spring, immortality and joy in the organs of procreation and as all in the akasha.

Here, before going to next group of upsanas we have to address an odd part of the shloka. The portion of shloka that states “Prajatirmrutmananda itiupasthate” is an odd fit here. In this shloka all upsanas are adhidaivika. This part, however, is an adhyatmika upsana and as such belongs to previous shloka. It means meditation on the organ of procreation or reproduction. These organs are also auspicious.

Take away:

  1. Among human beings, one who wants to give is difficult to find. Such a person, a Dani, is rarely found.
  2. The best ornament of a person is his speech; here absence of other ornaments will not be noticed. With bad speech, one’s all other good qualities are also negated.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy